Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious)
Peloton at 18:00
Bonjour and welcome to the Cyclingnews live coverage of stage 19 of the Tour de France.
Today could be the day that Mark Cavendish beats Eddy Merckx's record of 34 Tour de France stage victories.
As the Cyclingnews blimp takes height, the riders are signing on in Mourenx.
Today they will ride from the foothills of the Pyrenees across the wooded Landes region towards Bordeaux for the finish in Libourne.
The stage is 207km long.
Greg van Avermaet has fired up his bike for a fast stage.
🇫🇷 - @LeTour #19Bonne nouvelle, il semblerait qu'il en reste un peu dans le moteur de @GregVanAvermaet ! 😜//Good news: it seems that Greg Van Avermaet is still purring well. 😜#AG2RCITROËNTEAM #RoulonsAutrement #RideDifferently l © KBLB pic.twitter.com/YvtGcKPwbPJuly 16, 2021
Today's stage is mostly flat with only a cat 4 climb early in the stage.
The Tour peloton was happy to leave the mountains behind with the finish atop Luz Ardiden.
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) won his second straight mountain top finish at the Tour de France, with another utterly dominant performance. The yellow jersey stamped his authority on the race once again, finishing ahead of Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo Visma) and Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers).
Click below to read our full stage report.
The new town of Mourenx is indelibly associated with Eddy Merckx’s astonishing exploit in the 1969 Tour de France when he broke clear of the peloton towards the top of the Tourmalet, continued his solo raid over the Aubisque and finished eight minutes ahead of the small group that finished in his wake in today’s start town, doubling his overall lead in the process.
Since then, Mourenx has mostly featured as a ville départ for stages that run across the pan-flat Landes region into Bordeaux. This stage follows that pattern with a slight tweak at the end as the finish is in Libourne, the start point of the race’s second time trial 24 hours hence.
The stage will be a contest between the breakaway and the sprinters’ teams, the former hoping that the fatigue that will be affecting every rider in the race means that the peloton’s pursuit will be in vain, the latter determined to make the most of the first of two opportunities in the Tour’s final three days.
The only classified climb, the fourth-category Côte de Bareille, comes very early and could well provide the springboard for the break to go clear. Once over it, the riders soon enter the Landes, its straight and flat roads often passing through large stands of pine trees that offer protection from the wind.
The course arrows into Libourne, the road barely wavering from the straight during the last 7km. It’ll be perfect for a bunch sprint, assuming they’ve reeled all of those escapees back in.
The sun is out in Mourenx and Eddy Merckx is at the Tour de France to recalls his stage win and perhaps see Cavendish beat his record.
It will be interesting to see his reaction if Cavendish wins today.
The final teams are on stage at the sign-on, with Ineos Grenadiers lead by Richard Carapaz.
The Ecuadorian rider finished third in Luz Ardiden to cement his third place overall.
He is 5:51 down on Tadej Pogacar but only six seconds down on Jonas Vingegaard.
The two will fight it out in Saturday's time trial to decide the final podium positions.
Richard Carapaz (Ineos Grenadiers) crossed the line in third place for the second time in 24 hours at the Tour de France at Luz Ardiden, but the Ecuadorian appeared far more satisfied with Thursday’s outcome as his place on the final podium in Paris now seems increasingly likely.
Ineos Grenadiers turned in a strong collective performance both on the upper slopes of the Tourmalet and the lower slopes of Luz Ardiden, with Tao Geoghegan Hart in particular putting in a hugely impressive six-kilometre turn on the front.
Click below to read the full story in Carapaz's ride by Alasdair Fotheringham, who was in Luz Arididen yesterday.
Bahrain Victorious sign on and wave to the crowd. They race on despite the French police investigation that shook the Tour de France yesterday and was first revealed by Cyclingnews Editor Daniel Benson.
Click below for the full story.
Deceuninck-QuickStep sign on now with Mark Cavendish quiet and focused before the stage.
He was asked if he can win today and so beat Merckx's record.
"It’d be nice. On paper it could be a bunch sprint but there are teams here who not won a stage at the Tour de France," Cavendish said.
"It'll be a tough ask to control but we'll see what we can do."
UAE Team Emirates are the last to sign-on with race leader Tadej Pogacar in the yellow jersey once again.
As the riders line-up, Merckx and Cavendish say hello and hug.
It seems pretty clear that Merckx wished Cavendish all the best for the stage.
We're three minutes from the roll out from Mourenx.
All the jersey wearers are lined up at the front of the peloton.
The riders face a 10-minute ride to the depart reel, when the flag will drop and the 207km stage will officially start.
Allez le gars. Ride safely.
This was the very nice Merckx-Cavendish moment.
🤩 From one legend to another. Respect!🤩 D'une légende à une autre ! Respect !#TDF2021 pic.twitter.com/Jeuj13ZAmHJuly 16, 2021
If you listen carefully, you can hear Merckx say: "I hope you win a 35th stage today."
This is the map of the stage.
The stage is about to start. Get ready!
The stage starts with a short descent and then the cat 4 climb that could inspire attacks and the early break.
We're expecting fireworks and fast racing.
The flag drops and the first attacks come.
Several riders are blocked and forced to chase.
Cavendish just avoided the crash.
Deceuninck-QuickStep try to block the road but more attacks go off the front.
To calm the atttacks, even Tadej Pogacar chases one move.
Pogacar seems to be calming the attacks because several teammates were caught in the crash.
The peloton has let a break go.
The gap is up to 2:00.
190km to go
In the break are Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Nippo), Simon Clarke (Qhubeka-NextHash), Franck Bonnamour (B&B-KTM), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious).
The gap is up to 4:20.
Where are Deceuninck-QuickStep?
180km to go
The peloton is lined out as other teams lead the chase.
We can see Alpecin-Fenix on the front, riding for Jasper Philipsen's chances in the sprint.
Other riders are sat further back, including Andre' Greipel, who turns 39 today.
A birthday win would be a big, big story and a great birthday present.
Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Nippo), Simon Clarke (Qhubeka-NextHash), Franck Bonnamour (B&B-KTM), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious) have all been aggressive during the Tour.
Are they fighting for the super combatif prize in Paris?
Alpecin have three riders on the front to share the work load.
Their work is pegging the gap at 4:00.
Patrick Konrad and Wilco Kelderman (Bora), Rafa Majka (UAE), Thomas (Ineos), Henao (Qhubeka) and Poels (Bahrain) were all involved in the crash.
Henao needed some medical treatment from the race doctor's car but rides on.
170km to go
The riders are riding at 50km/h on the flat roads. They are ticking off the 10km blocks at speed.
The work by Alpecin-Fenix has reduced the gap on the break to 3:30.
Crash in the peloton.
Riders down include G Martin, Colbrelli and others.
Enric Mas also involved.
Cavendish was also caught-up in the crash.
Fortunately nobody seems injured. Only one Cofidis riders needs brief medical treatment.
The peloton has eased to allowed the riders involved in the crash to chase back on.
The peloton is spread across three groups.
Colbrelli is the first to get medical treatment.
UAE avoided the crash because it happened behind them. That's the benefit of riding up front to protect the race leader.
Groups of riders, including Mas, are tucked in behind team cars as they ride to get back into the peloton.
Cavendish and Colbrelli are both back into the peloton, just in time to contest the intermediate sprint in Saint-Sever.
10km from the sprint, Alpecin-Fenix are back giving it big licks in pursuit of the six rider break.
The gap is at 3:50.
Enric Mas is back in the pack. He is not injured but that was a scare for his sixth place overall.
Despite the crashes, the six leaders have covered 47.5km in the first hour of stage 19.
Cavendish has moved back up to near the front. He will surely fight for the intermediate sprint points very soon.
Merckx in Mourenx is about more than Cavendish and the stage win record.
Merckx was first dubbed the Cannibal after his Tour stage win in the city in 1969.
He made a famous solo attack of over 140km across the Pyrénées.
🚩 The 19th stage of the #TDF2021 started in Mourenx.🤩 It was here that 🇧🇪 Eddy Merckx became a legend of the Tour in 1969! ⏩ A look back on that famous solo raid of over 140km across the Pyrénées. pic.twitter.com/uf6vK0QWGaJuly 16, 2021
The break is 1km from the sprint point.
The six riders will sweep up most of the points but we expect a fight for the others.
Some of Cavendish's rivals will be trying to save their legs for the final sprint, rather than go deep in the intermediate sprint.
But we expect Cavendish, Michael Matthews and Sonny Colbrelli to fight it out. Cavendish leads Matthews by 38 points.
Here we go.
Bike Exchange lead it out for Matthews.
The sprint is slightly uphill.
Matthews leads it out and takes 9 points. Colbrelli scores 8 points in his slipstream.
Mezgec also scores points, with Cavendish scoring six points. He opted not to deep on the riding sprint and so to limit his losses.
Matthews pulled back 3 points on Cavendish but the Manxman now has 304 points, with Matthews on 269. Colbrelli is third with 2016 points.
Today's finish will be far more important for the points, with 50 awarded to the stage winner.
Meanwhile, the break pushes on, working together to stay 4:00 clear.
The six are: Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Nippo), Simon Clarke (Qhubeka-NextHash), Franck Bonnamour (B&B-KTM), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious).
Attack in the peloton!
Suddenly Trek-Segafredo upset the status quo.
Brent Van Moer (Lotto) attacks. He is followed by Nils Politt (Bora) and then Toms Skujiņš (Trek).
Lots of riders want to be in the action today.
With the intermediate sprint done, perhaps Deceuninck will let them go.
Jasper Stuyvens also dynamites the peloton.
It's anarchy in the race.
Now Mads Pedersen tries his hand, lining out the pack again.
But the pack swarms around him.
The teams which have riders in the break are trying to slow the attacks.
The peloton is 3:00 behind the break due to their accelerations and attacks.
18 rider are up the road between the break and the peloton.
The peloton has eased and so the racing is really on now.
There are some strong riders in the 20-rider counter-attack.
The 20 lead the peloton by 1:00 now.
Who will lead the chase? Israel seem to have missed it.
The new 20-rider group is cutting through the forest and blasting across to the front breakaway.
However some riders are sitting on and others are attacking.
120km to go
The counter-attackers are closing in on the front six.
The gap is 1:20
The peloton is at 1:50 and they are still chasing.
The peloton is closing the gap. But that will only surely spark more attacks.
Chris Froome is helping the peloton chase, as is Geraint Thomas.
The 20-rider has split but are being closed down by the peloton.
The chasers are only 1:20 down on the break now, meaning we could soon have a completely new race.
🚴♂️ A strong chasing group.🚴♂️ Un imposant groupe de poursuivants.#TDF2021 pic.twitter.com/6DIoqcsTBhJuly 16, 2021
There are 14 riders in the counter-attack but the peloton is only 40 seconds back.
The 14 are: Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Jasper Stuvyen, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Davide Ballerini (DQS), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix), Michael Valgren (EF), Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic), Casper Pedersen (DSM), Brent Van Moer (Lotto-Soudal), Ion Izagirre (Astana), Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash) and Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies).
They are 40 seconds down on Julien Bernard (Trek-Segafredo), Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Nippo), Simon Clarke (Qhubeka-NextHash), Franck Bonnamour (B&B-KTM), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious).
The peloton seems to be losing grip on the attackers.
Their gap is up to 50 seconds.
Bahrain and Ineos are leading the chase.
The 14 are just 15 seconds from the six-rider attack.
The peloton is at 1:00. Will they now ease up and try to organise a more controlled chase?
100km to go
As the stage nears halfway, the racing is still very aggressive and wide open.
This could end in a sprint but the brea could also stay away. It will be fast chase all the way to the finish in Libourne.
There we go, the 14 join the six up front to form a 20-rider attack.
The peloton is just 45 seconds back and that is stopping the team cars from crossing to the breakaway.
Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) can beat Eddy Merckx's stage win record today in Libourne with his 35th stage win in the Tour.
The five-time Tour winner wished the British sprint good luck at the start in Mourenx.
In this photo there are 68 Tour de France wins and a lot more too!
This is the moment the front of the race came together.
Behind only Bike Exchange and Israel Start-Up Nation seem to have missed the attack and so are willing to chase.
🚴♂️ A coming together! The chasing group has caught the 6 leading riders with the peloton not far behind.🚴♂️ Jonction à l'avant ! Le groupe de chasse a rejoint les 6 premiers échappés du jour. Le peloton est tout proche.#TDF2021 pic.twitter.com/1Ev3D6cuyzJuly 16, 2021
Israel have 7 riders in the pack and many of them are working to close the attack down.
The groups can see each other on the long straight roads through the forest but it will be difficult for the pack to close the gap.
90km to go
The Israel riders admit they are not bringing the gap down.
Cavendish is sat in the group and is happy to let the 20-rider attack go clear. If the 20 riders sweep up the green jersey points that means Cavendish has a far better chance of winning the green jersey.
The gap is up to 1:30. Israel Start-Up Nation are hoping to win their first ever Tour stage but it does not look likely today.
UAE Team Emirates, Ineos Grenadiers, Israel Start-Up Nation, Movistar, Groupama-FDJ and BikeExchange don't have a rider in the break. But the gap is up to 1:50.
The 20 riders in the break are:
Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Julien Bernard, Jasper Stuvyen, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Davide Ballerini (DQS), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Silvan Dillier (Alpecin-Fenix), Michael Valgren, Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Nippo), Elie Gesbert (Arkea-Samsic), Casper Pedersen (DSM), Brent Van Moer (Lotto-Soudal), Ion Izagirre (Astana), Simon Clarke, Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies), Franck Bonnamour (B&B-KTM), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert) and Matej Mohoric (Bahrain Victorious).
They came together with 100km to race.
Deceuninck are not riding in the pack because they have fast finisher Davide Ballerini in the attack.
That's a smart tactical move and means they do not have to chase. Ballerini is also fast in a sprint and so could win the stage.
Israel Start-Up Nations have stopped the chase.
UAE take over but naturally opt for a slower pace. The 20-rider attack has extended their lead to 3:30.
Trek seem happy and have taken to writing poetry.
#TDF2021 20 riders lead the race and with 3 for us.Despite a chase from behind, the gap is growing.Now at almost 2 mins.The move is looking better and better! We like!July 16, 2021
It's fully relaxed in the bunch now as the gap grows towards the five-minute mark.
This front group is sailing clear and it surely contains our stage winner today. There are some fast finishers in the form of Laporte, Ballerini, Stuyven, Theuns, Teunissen, but it's highly unlikely this group will go to the finish as one. Attacks will come nearer the finish and it'll likely be a battle of tactics as much as pure strength.
69km to go
The gap reaches seven minutes.
A slight change in the peloton as Vegard Stake Laengen hits the front to impose a steadier tempo. The full-on chill-out is over and the gap is no longer ballooning, but it's still growing slowly and everyone is relaxed.
Pogacar drops back from the front to catch up with his compatriot Luka Mezgec of BikeExchange. Meanwhile Cavendish is catching up with his fellow former world champion Philippe Gilbert.
54km to go
The gap has now reached 10 minutes.
50km to go
The peloton is now at over 10:00.
The forests have been replaced by vines now as the Tour near Bordeaux.
We're also seeing a first change in the race, with the first attacks in the breakaway.
Riders are trying and hoping the group will split into a small move.
While the final kilometres tick down, why not catch-up with the latest blog from Jack Thompson. He is attempting to complete the Tour de France route in just 10 days.
We caught up with him ahead of the last leg of The Amazing Chase, presented by Wahoo.
Click below for the blog.
Max Walscheid (Qhubeka-NextHash) goes on the attack but others jump up to and pst him.
They lead the peloton by 12:00 and so can race aggressively.
We are likely to see a fight for victory all the way to the finish.
More attacks come as Stuyven sits up. He seems tired of making attacks.
Franck Bonnamour (B&B-KTM) attacks, confirming his excellent Tour.
Rutsch is with him for EF.
35km to go
More attacks are coming.
Ballerini goes next. He's trying to form a strong attack of limited number.
The road weaves through the vineyards and more attacks come.
Each attack is spitting out someone from the group.
The race passes over the Garonne river.
We have nine riders up front now.
Teunissen, Theuns, Politt, Valgren, Pedersen, Mohoric, Turgis, Zimmermann and Bonnamour form the front group.
The road keeps rolling and the attacks keep coming.
25km to go
Now Mohoric takes off solo.
It's a real battle for survival.
Mohoric has a gap and is grinding away, slowly distancing his rivals from the break.
Laporte had tried to go across to the Slovenian but the rest of the select group join him. They're working together to close the gap but it's up to 30 seconds.
It's a ride of defiance by the Bahrain Victorious rider.
10 riders are chasing Mohoric:
Mike Teunissen (Jumbo-Visma), Jasper Stuvyen, Edward Theuns (Trek-Segafredo), Nils Politt (Bora-Hansgrohe), Christophe Laporte (Cofidis), Michael Valgren, Jonas Rutsch (EF Education-Nippo), Casper Pedersen (DSM), Anthony Turgis (TotalEnergies), Georg Zimmermann (Intermarché-Wanty Gobert), Franck Bonnamour (B&B Hotels-KTM).
The rest of the breakaway have been scattered across the vineyards of the Garonne.
Mohoric pushes his lead out to 40 seconds.
Mohoric has switched to TT mode and is holding a lead of 40 seconds.
With 13km to go, the chasers are losing hope and space to close the gap.
Nils Politt is doing big turns but other riders are sitting on and contributing little to the chase.
10km to go
Mohoric dances to the top of a climb and passes under the 10km banner at speed.
Behind Politt attacks but the chasers are falling apart and controlling each other.
They will never catch Mohoric if this continues.
The huge crowds are cheering Mohoric to victory.
Mohoric is flying.
5km to go
Mohoric is 5km away from victory, while the peloton is at 20km to go.
They are 18:30 down on the Slovenian.
1km for Mohoric.
He leads by over a minute.
Casper Pedersen is chasing alone but Mohoric has gone.
Mohoric begins to celebrate his victory.
Mohoric took off alone with 25km and held off the chasers.
Mohoric points to his Bahrain jersey and celebrates his stage victory.
It's a sprint for second place.
Laporte holds off Pedersen to take second.
The others sprint home for fourth place.
This was the moment Mohoric won alone.
🏆🇸🇮 @matmohoric claims his second stage win of the Tour de France 2021 in Libourne!🇸🇮 Matej Mohoric, remporte une seconde victoire d’étape sur ce Tour de France 2021 !#TDF2021 pic.twitter.com/x75WzkSdA7July 16, 2021
The other from the 20-rider break sprint for the minor placings.
The slo-mo camera captures the moment Mohoric puts a finger to his lips and then zips across his mouth.
It will be interesting to understand who he is sending a message to.
The peloton is rolling towards Libourne and the finish.
They have 10km to ride.
Here's Mohoric on the way to victory.
This is the stage result
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Matej Mohoric (Slo) Bahrain Victorious||4:19:17|
|2||Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis||0:00:58|
|3||Casper Pedersen (Den) Team DSM|
|4||Mike Teunissen (Ned) Jumbo-Visma|
|5||Nils Politt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:01:08|
|6||Edward Theuns (Bel) Trek-Segafredo|
|7||Michael Valgren (Den) EF Education-Nippo|
|8||Georg Zimmermann (Ger) Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux|
|9||Anthony Turgis (Fra) TotalEnergies|
|10||Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo|
Here's Mohoric's provocative gesture.
Victory salute... witness statement? 🤐 pic.twitter.com/Gn7h4dZNNkJuly 16, 2021
The peloton is close to the finish.
The riders will be happy to enjoy a quiet day before Saturday's TT through the Bordeaux vineyards
Here comes the peloton.
UAE lead home Tadej Pogacar.
The UAE celebrate ending the road stages. Pogacar faces just Saturday's 30.8km time trial and then the ride into Paris.
Mark Cavendish finished in the peloton. He was unable to sprint for a 35th victory but has surely secured victory in the green points jersey by stopping his rivals scoring points today.
Mohoric won by 58 seconds.
The peloton was 20 minutes down on Mohoric, finishing inside the time limit by only 5 minutes or so.
With the peloton in, this is the top ten on GC.
|Pos.||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Tadej Pogacar (Slo) UAE Team Emirates||79:40:09|
|2||Jonas Vingegaard (Den) Jumbo-Visma||0:05:45|
|3||Richard Carapaz (Ecu) Ineos Grenadiers||0:05:51|
|4||Ben O’Connor (Aus) AG2R Citroën Team||0:08:18|
|5||Wilco Kelderman (Ned) Bora-Hansgrohe||0:08:50|
|6||Enric Mas Nicolau (Spa) Movistar Team||0:10:11|
|7||Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana-Premier Tech||0:11:22|
|8||Guillaume Martin (Fra) Cofidis||0:12:46|
|9||Pello Bilbao Lopez De Armentia (Spa) Bahrain Victorious||0:13:48|
|10||Rigoberto Uran (Col) EF Education-Nippo||0:16:25|
Mohoric talked about his race and his second stage victory in this Tour.
"I can't believe it. I was just trying to do my best," he said.
"Our tactic today was to be attentive of the breakaways, especially if it was more than 8 guys with Deceuninck-QuickStep or Alpecin-Fenix in them. We were thinking that maybe it's a day for the sprint and that QuickStep would control with Alpecin, but when I saw the start, it was super hilly, so I thought it would be better to stay in the front and you can still start after if you need. When I saw those guys going, I just did a super big effort to get back to them."
"I saw I had good legs and I also knew it was quite hard. I spoke to the guys in the breakaway and told them that a good strategy to keep the speed as high as possible for the start of the stage. They were a little big hesitating but then they agreed because I think that's a good way of getting the breakaway all the way to the finish because the sprinter's teams needs many guys to control."
"Then unfortunately there was another big group joining our small breakaway and we had no teammates there so I was a little bit disappointed. But I never give up and I just hoped for the best, tried to save some energy, and then in the final I tried to follow the attacks.
"When Nils went on that final climb, I was so on my limit I was almost exploding but I said if this is the hardest moment in the race then I need to do one more sprint. If I explode that's okay, but I really went for it and I looked back, and nobody was there.
"I just went as hard as I possibly could, and I completely finished my legs – towards the finish I was dying I was doing ridiculous low power but I was trying to be as aero as possible. Fortunately, I managed to keep my gap to the line."
During the podium ceremony Tadej Pogacar smiles in the yellow jersey yet again.
Mark Cavendish also enjoys his moment on the podium after pulling on the green jersey yet again.
Cavendish leads the points competition with a total of 304. Matthews is on 269 and the only rider who can beat him.
However Cavendish would have to fail to score points in the intermediate sprint and at the finish of the final stage to Paris.
This was the moment Pogacar took another step towards his second Tour victory.
Mohoric also spoke about his controversial gesture at the finish.
“I was thinking mostly about what happened two days in the evening, when I felt like a criminal, with all the police coming to our hotel.
“Frome one point of view it’s a good thing, because it means there’s control on the peloton and they’re checking all the teams. Of course, they didn’t find anything because we’ve nothing to hide.”
I’m a little bit disappointed with the system because it’s not nice when the police walk into your room and start to search all your belongings. It feels weird when you have nothing to hide. It never happened to me before.
"When they go through your personal photos and your message, it feels a little bit like this. But I have nothing to hide, so at the end of the day I don't care about it too much."
🇫🇷 #TDF2021 When someone tells you it’s TT day tomorrow 😄 pic.twitter.com/vOuLe03tdiJuly 16, 2021
To read our full stage report, full results and to see our growing photo gallery from stage 19, click the link below.
Saturday sees the final TT stage through the Bordeaux vineyards.
Just a touch shy of 31 kilometres in length, this time trial will suit the specialists in this discipline as well as those riders who cope best with the sapping demands of three-week races.
Shorter and essentially flat compared to last year’s equivalent test to La Planche des Belles Filles, where Tadej Pogačar seized the yellow jersey from compatriot Primož Roglič, it’s unlikely to produce a similar turnaround in fortunes.
Running past some of Bordeaux’s most celebrated wineries, notably Pomerol, Petrus, Fronsac and Saint-Émilion, this stage will look beautiful on TV. Starting in the heart of Libourne, the riders will soon be into their biggest gear as they leave the town and head north-east on a dead-straight road.
Just beyond the village of La Patache, the course checks to the east, loops through Pomerol and then follows a comparatively straight trajectory to reach the outskirts of Lussac, at the course’s most easterly point.
Turning south-west here, the riders will power up the only notable rise on the course to reach the intermediate checkpoint at Montagne, with a little more than 10km remaining.
For the next half-dozen kilometres, the road weaves a little more, but the specialists should still be able to maintain their top speed until a sharp corner just inside the 5km-to-go banner, when they will turn south-east towards the finish in Saint-Émilion, this final section once again following a very direct line.
Mohoric won with a solo attack in the final 25km of the stage to Libourne but it is obviously his post-race comments and his "finger to mouth" and "zip the lips' gesture that is causing debate.
Many people remembered when Lance Armstrong made a similar gesture to television after he had chased down and criticised Filippo Simeoni. The Italian rider was a key witness in the Dr Ferrari trial, which angered the Texan.
Armstrong later confessed to doping during his career and later made up with Simeoni during a visit to Rome.
It is unclear if Mohoric realised the significance of his gesture.
Or this throwback lip-zip pic.twitter.com/Yr9pY0ZsUpJuly 16, 2021
Click below to read out full story on Mohoric's comments
Pogacar is now just two days and two stage from victory in the 2021 Tour de France.
Thanks for joining us for our full live coverage of the stage.
We'll be back on Saturday for full live coverage of the time trial to see who wins, if it is Pogacar and if Carapaz can gain a few seconds to jump passed Jonas Vingegaard into second place.
After he time trial it will be full speed to Paris for Sunday's final celebratory road stage and evening finish.
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